May 16, 2014 — We've compiled some of the most thought-provoking commentaries from around the Web. Catch up on the conversation with bloggers from the Huffington Post, RH Reality Check and more.
CONTRACEPTION: "Why I'm Dispelling Myths About Birth Control," Colleen Krajewski, Huffington Post blogs: "Despite the benefits, there's a lot of misinformation and mythology out there about birth control, so it's important ... to communicate the facts to ... patients -- about effectiveness, risks, side effects and benefits -- so they can make an informed decision about the best method for them based on their unique circumstances and values," writes Krajewski, a practicing physician and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Krajewski touches on several of these myths, including those surrounding intrauterine devices, misunderstanding about hormonal contraceptive methods, lack of patient knowledge about "which methods are most effective" and the stigmatization about using birth control when not in a "serious relationship" (Krajewski, Huffington Post blogs, 5/14).
What others are saying about contraception:
~ "Rick Santorum Says the Government Should Just Give Away Contraceptives," Elias Isquith, Salon.
~ "Not Letting Religion Trump Facts or the Court in the Contraceptive Coverage Cases," Hillary Schneller, National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake."
ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: "Lindsey Graham Admits 20-Week Bans Challenge 'Roe v. Wade,' Vote Blocked in Senate," Emily Crockett, RH Reality Check: "During Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) ultimately failed attempt to force a vote on a 20-week abortion ban (S 1670) on Tuesday, he made comments indicating he is aware that 20-week bans are a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, and therefore a direct threat to legal abortion access in the United States," Crockett writes. She adds that Graham's rationale for the legality of such bans "is the medically discredited notion that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks," noting that the Supreme Court has always used the standard of viability, as determined by a physician. "Twenty-week bans still appear to be an ongoing attempt by the anti-choice movement to chip away at abortion access and even overturn Roe v. Wade," writes Crockett, adding that some states' "'20-week bans' actually take effect two weeks earlier in pregnancy than others, an indication that 'fetal pain' is merely an excuse to limit abortion rights" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 5/14).
What others are saying about abortion restrictions:
~ "Senate Republicans Are Reviving Kermit Gosnell To Push for a National Abortion Ban," Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Missouri Lawmakers Approve 3 Day Waiting Period for Women Seeking Abortions," Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress."
~ "Virginia Governor Orders Review of Abortion Clinic Regulations," Teddy Wilson, RH Reality Check.
~ "Here's How Long You Have To Wait for an Abortion in Each State," Alissa Scheller, Huffington Post blogs.
MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH: "Abortion, Like Contraception, is Essential Health Care That Saves Lives," Terry O'Neill, Huffington Post blogs: "From a public health point of view, abortion care, no less than contraception, is an essential measure to prevent the heartbreak of infant mortality, and to prevent another tragedy as well -- maternal death," writes O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. O'Neill cites two studies, one that found that the "U.S. preterm birth rate (1 in 8 births) is one of the highest in the industrialized world" and another that found the U.S. is "one of just eight countries to see a rise in maternal mortality over the past decade." O'Neill notes that there are "many factors ... behind these statistics," but adds, "[D]o the math -- as more states like Texas and North Carolina restrict access to abortion care, more women are dying in childbirth or pregnancy, and more infants are not surviving to their first birthday." She writes, "Politicians may try to separate out abortion, or abortion and contraception, from the continuum of women's reproductive health care, but when they do, women's lives are needlessly cut short" (O'Neill, Huffington Post blogs, 5/13).
What others are saying about maternal and child health:
~ "Lawsuit: Staten Island Hospital Forced Patient Into C-Section Against Her Will," Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check.
JUDICIARY: "4 Bad Policies Endorsed by Obama's Judicial Nominee Michael Boggs," Robin Marty, Care2: The fact that President Obama "has seen an unprecedented number of his appointees -- judicial and legislative — blocked by a do nothing [C]ongress" should not stop him "from only offering judicial candidates who best represent the ideals and policies that the President himself, as well as his party, embraces," Marty writes. "Instead, he nominated Michael Boggs," a Georgia judge and former state legislator who has "some pretty problematic policy beliefs," she writes. Marty lists four "bad" policies that Boggs has endorsed, including allowing publication of the names of physicians who provide abortions and multiple abortion restrictions (Marty, Care2, 5/14).
What others are saying about the judiciary:
~ "Michael Boggs, an Unacceptable Judicial Nominee," Scott Lemieux, American Prospect.
CERVICAL CANCER: "Study: Rates of Cervical Cancer in the United States Higher Than Previously Thought," Martha Kempner, RH Reality Check: Kempner discusses a recently released study that suggests cervical cancer rates have been underestimated in the U.S. "Previous studies had estimated that the U.S. cervical cancer rate was about 12 cases per 100,000 women" and "that the highest rates were in women between ages 40 and 44," but "[t]he new calculations show that there are 18.6 cases per 100,000 women of all ages and that the highest rates are actually in women 65 to 69," she writes, explaining that the new estimates exclude women who have had hysterectomies. While this "makes sense," it also "suggests that the medical community may have been underestimating the risk of cervical cancer for older women who still have a uterus and a cervix," Kempner says, adding that "women should work with their doctors to assess their own risk and develop a screening plan" (Kempner, RH Reality Check, 5/13).
What others are saying about cervical cancer:
~ "Let's Make HPV Vaccination a Public Health Priority," Hill Harper, Huffington Post blogs.